Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Universities Do For Money

BB&T banker John Allison's attempts to indoctrinate North Carolina university students in Ayn Rand's "objectivist" philosophy of capitalism-uber-alles continues apace. It's come to light that Western Carolina University administrators inked an agreement for a million bucks from Allison's BB&T Foundation with the stipulations that faculty would teach Rand's philosophy and require students to read "Atlas Shrugged."

The signed agreement between administrators of the WCU College of Business and Allison committed WCU faculty members essentially behind their backs: "The Professor shall work closely with the Ayn Rand Institute and have a reasonable understanding and positive attitude toward Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism."

Can you imagine the subsequent meeting between the Dean and the faculty member teaching "Greed Is Good": "Dr. Fitzenheimer, we hear that you may not have an entirely 'positive attitude' toward Ayn Rand, in direct contravention of our agreement for the money paying your salary, so I'm afraid that we'll have to let you go."

When the WCU faculty got wind of what their administrators had committed them to, they displayed less than a positive attitude toward WCU's making a public joke of academic freedom.

So the agreement controlling the $1 million has been rewritten requiring that the designated professor of Ayn Randianism "shall maintain open communications with the Donor concerning his or her role within the College of Business and University and the implementation of the Gift Agreement." And "Atlas Shrugged" will not be required reading.

We guess this is an improvement, but even maintaining "open communications" with a "donor" who wants to propagandize a captive audience of teens and post-teens is one hell of a step for any American university to take.

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